We asked Courtney Ramirez to be our Awesome Apprentice; she’s taking the 52 Weeks to Awesome course and will be writing us a post at the end of each month to share her experiences with us.
Whew! What a big month! What a big trying, joyful, amazing and crazy month!
After spending the last year trying to run from my hometown for something bigger, better, and greater, both my husband and I realized that it’s not about the place outside – it’s about the feelings inside. I learned to live the principle wherever you go, there you are. We started this journey out last May and “escaped” from California’s central valley to the coast. When that got tough due to my summer freelancing slump and some other factors, we tried out the state capital – but ended up even more isolated, depressed, and withdrawn.
That’s when my tapes of “you’re not doing enough” and “you’re not good enough” really started raging. Here was proof in black and white that I’m not good enough – I couldn’t deny it. Or, at least, I thought I couldn’t. I landed on the third assignment in this month which focused on fishing for thoughts. As a former high school brainiac, I feel like my mind is my strongest asset. My job is to basically think all day and write down those thoughts. And all my thoughts are my own….right?
I discovered that I’m carrying around all kinds of thoughts from who knows where – parents, old friends, imaginary enemies.
And you are too.
This was a crazy revelation to me. I knew that I had negative tapes that popped up from time to time. But I honestly thought that I was in control of them and that they came from me – or at least a memory. During the exercise in the third week’s mission, I had a thought pop up that not only underscored some big personal developments from me – but that I had no clue where it came from. It wasn’t something my parents told me, or that I’d heard growing up.
It was something I was carrying around for no reason at all.
After that realization, it became a lot easier to purge my mind of the “I’m not doing enough” thoughts. I started to trust my feelings rather than my mind. At the end of the day, I started writing down what I had accomplished instead of reflecting on the three or four things that I didn’t get to.
Eventually, both my husband and I realized that we’d been searching for a place and people we felt comfortable with, but that it wouldn’t matter until we were comfortable with ourselves. And with that, the struggle to stay away from home was over.
What made me want to leave in the first place was that this area is very risk-averse – people I meet here think that any difference is weird, and that weirdness is dangerous.
But if I embrace and love my own weirdness – then maybe I can help others discover a little of their own precious weirdness and make this hot, dry valley a little brighter.
Courtney Ramirez is a content, seo and marketing superhero consultant by day and geeky BBC sitcom watching mom and wife by night. When not developing carpal tunnel by writing for her clients or playing the Sims, she’s homeschooling two girls and toying around with the idea of starting a new blog. You can follow her on Twitter.